Ericsson ends Bluetooth hardware development

Ericsson, the company that invented and heavily promoted Bluetooth wireless technology, has decided to discontinue its design and development of new Bluetooth systems for the semiconductor industry.

The Stockholm-based wireless equipment manufacturer is disbanding Ericsson Technology Licensing, a unit spun off four years ago to spearhead the company's Bluetooth research and development efforts, according to the subsidiary's Vice President of Marketing Johan Akesson.

"We have decided to stop developing and licensing new Bluetooth hardware to the semiconductor industry because we don't see this business as prosperous enough in the long term," Akesson said. "Bluetooth is now a mature standard, and numerous semiconductor manufacturers are supplying Bluetooth products in large volumes."

Ericsson will continue to support existing Bluetooth customers, including Koninklijke Philips Electronics and STMicroelectronics, but will not seek new ones, according to Akesson.

The Swedish company will also continue Bluetooth software technology development through its Ericsson Mobile Platforms subsidiary, and remains committed to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which consists of several companies promoting Bluetooth technology, he said.

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